The G20 has a crucial role in making digitalisation
16 January 2023
Covid-19 has increased its impact on our lives and societies and contributed to the acceleration of the digital transition. However, the rapidity of these changes and the disparities that accompany them jeopardize the gains they bring. The World Economic Forum estimates that 3.7 billion people do not have Internet access. Because of this developing advanced partition, no less than 33% of the world’s schoolchildren couldn’t get to remote learning the year before.
Women and low-skilled workers, two vulnerable groups, are especially likely to miss out on the benefits of digital transformation. Women make up less than 30% of researchers worldwide, and 40% of people with lower secondary education work in jobs that are highly automated.
Additionally, the lack of a level playing field in digital markets, cybercrimes, incidents involving the misuse of personal data, and mistrust in digital innovation all contribute to ethical concerns.
The official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community, the Business20 (B20), and the Think20 (T20), the engagement group of the G20 that brings together think tanks, universities, and other research centers, have collaborated to produce practical policy proposals for G20 decision-makers in light of these obstacles. The G20, according to our Task Forces on Digital Transformation, has a crucial role to play in making digitalization an opportunity for all and maximizing its potential to promote economic growth and create more equitable societies.
The B20 and the T20 call on the G20 Ministers of Technology to act on the following proposals in their respective policy areas:
BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN ALL ITS FORMS As a key enabler of digital transformation, global connectivity should be further expanded through a G20-coordinated multilateral collaborative effort to promote innovation and investment.
The private and public sectors must simultaneously address the digital skills gap by mapping current shortages and upskilling or reskilling individuals to create a population that is digitally ready. In light of this, education curricula ought to be updated to include offline and affordable digital learning options that can reach the most disadvantaged students.
Countries in the G20 should also acknowledge and address the gender gap in the digital economy. Some of the suggested policy instruments for addressing this issue include time-bound goals and grant programs for women in STEM, campaigns to raise awareness of gender stereotypes, and measures to encourage gender-neutral parental leave.
Building trust and cooperation in the digital economy requires ensuring a regulatory environment that is fair and transparent in order for markets and industries to work together effectively. However, global coordination on regulatory principles is not keeping up with the most recent technological advancements. As a result, there are imbalances in legislation, industries, and markets, lowering trust in the digital ecosystem as a whole.
To promote efficient markets and fair competition, we urge G20 nations to harmonize regulatory principles. Specifically, the G20 ought to consider embracing an organized system to deter unwanted practices that might harm the trust of shoppers.
In parallel, the G20 should encourage the creation of multi-stakeholder entities that can coordinate and shape global standards and policies for the digital economy in order to develop a comprehensive
In order to move toward interoperability in the future, regional certification schemes governing cross-border flows of personal data in APEC and EU nations should be multilateralized and open to outside countries. As a result, the G20 should avoid data protectionism without jeopardizing states’ rights to regulatory autonomy over data privacy and protection.
In comparison to the previous year, the number of global cyberattacks increased by 12%. GUARANTEEING SECURITY AND PRIVACY IN THE DIGITAL SPHERE However, the global defense against cyberattacks is still weakened by the uneven international regulation, which includes a number of gray areas within local jurisdictions. The G20 could push for more meaningful sharing of cyber threat information. States would be able to acquire a more comprehensive picture of the threat environment and better inform defenders to proactively address emerging threats through this strategy.
The development of specific school curricula may assist young people in identifying these threats and providing them with the tools to evaluate misinformation and potential deception, as well as to avoid cyberbullying, in order to increase individual protection against online threats.
Our proposal to the G20 regarding data privacy is to provide consumers with incentives to be transparent about their own data.
CONCLUSION Following the pandemic, our society faces numerous challenges. Through their Task Forces on Digital Transformation, the B20 and T20 call on the G20 Ministers for technological innovation to renew their commitment to addressing these challenges by designing and swiftly implementing policy measures to reduce the digital divide, support women’s inclusion in the digital economy, improve digital education and digital skills, establish comprehensive international governance for the digital ecosystem, and give individuals meaningful control of their own data.
Building the digital agenda The G20 has quickly recognized the significance of digital technologies for economic performance and well-being and the need for a coordinated global approach since their initial
The G20 Roadmap for Digitalization was adopted by Ministers as a result of the 2017 debate, which was centered on developing an ambitious digital agenda for the G20.
The OECD supported the 2018 G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration’s action-oriented annexes on gender and digital government by expanding the evidence base and supporting discussions on bridging the digital gender divide, measuring the digital economy, protecting digital consumers, and best practices for digital government.